Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald are set to throw down at UFC on Fox 8, and the fight will be the end product of some pretty heavy trash talk from both guys. Trash talking aside, where does this leave the Welterweight title picture? Will we be looking at a new title contender once these two have gone to battle?
The answer, in my opinion, is yes. Ellenberger will be 9-1 in his last 10 should he beat MacD, and MacD will improve to 15-1 overall. Also add in that Demian Maia's fight against Josh Koscheck has been scrapped, UFC on Fox 8 will be a big night for the WW division.
Dana White had this to say about the fight, via MMAJunkie.com:
"For Jake, a win over Rory is a big fight for him. For Rory, a win over Jake is a big fight for him, too. As you continue to fight the best in the world, you're building your resume and climbing up the ladder and getting that experience. This is a great fight," White said. "Both guys are explosive, dynamic, finishers, and two of the top guys in that division. Obviously, the guy who wins this fight is right up there and close to a title shot."
Now the obvious question is will MacDonald fight against training partner and friend GSP?
"I don't know what's going to happen," said MacDonald. "Me and Georges are not going to fight. We're training partners. So I know that much."
It always baffles me when training partners refuse to fight, especially when you are trying to get to the top of your division. Dana White thinks that once MacD makes it to the zenneth, he may change his mind:
"When that day comes, (or) when he gets to that place where it's time for GSP vs. Rory MacDonald, I'm sure that's when Rory will want to talk about fighting GSP," he said.
The truth is that these guys are two of the best welterweights around, and a convincing win will boost either fighter's stock massively. We also have to consider the longevity of GSP's title reign, should he lose against Hendricks he may receive an immediate rematch. Time on the shelf ahead of a match with St-Pierre could prove costly for either fighter.
What is certain is that whoever is victorios at UFC on Fox 8 will be making a gigantic statement for a title shot, but GSP vs. Hendricks will have to take place first before we count our chickens.
Photo: Eric Bolte of USA Today Sports